Guardiola: Manchester City don't just win because of cash spent

Jo Caldwell
November 9, 2018

Manchester City have been alleged to have hidden more than half the salary to their former manager Roberto Mancini when he joined the club in 2011.

The magazine reported that Man City officials detailed a long-term search for "creative solutions" to hiding expenses and evading UEFA monitoring of spending on players.

Defending the Premier League champions as "incredibly professional" in response to allegations they bent financial fair play rules, he added: "Of course, like many, many clubs around the world they have a lot of money, but they are also an incredible club".

On Friday, Der Spiegel disclosed how Infantino did a secret deal over FFP sanctions with City's Abu Dhabi owners and Paris St-Germain's Qatari owners while he was general secretary at UEFA.

The "Football Leaks" documents, which include emails, contracts and presentations, were obtained by German publication Der Spiegel and reviewed by Reuters in partnership with worldwide media consortium European Investigative Collaborations.

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Der Spiegel has also claimed that City struck a deal with UEFA to avoid a Champions League ban when it was found they had breached FFP rules, and that a third-party company to which they sold player image rights was also funded by the Sheikh.

Der Spiegel say the current Italy coach signed two contracts on the same day, one for being an adviser to the Sheikh Mansour-owned Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club which was for £1.75 and another for City - with a base of £1.45m before bonuses.

When Chumillas asked his colleague Simon Pearce if they could change the date of payments from the sponsors, Pearce allegedly answered: "Of course, we can do what we want".

"Believe me, I'm completely honest, I don't know what happened, I'm a manager, focused on the pitch, and the locker room".

Since Man City was bought with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth in 2008, a team long in the shadows of more glamorous Manchester United has overtaken its rival on the field.

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Der Spiegel is planning to publish further stories related to City on Wednesday and Thursday.

Guardiola distanced himself from allegations of any wrongdoing on City's part, insisting he doesn't get involved in the business side of the club's dealings. "UEFA FFP compliance WILL NOT be achieved".

"We will need to fight this", Soriano wrote, according to the magazine, "and do it in a way that is not visible, or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football".

David Frommer, spokesman for the European Club Association, said the organisation had "full trust in UEFA's organs of control in holding clubs to account".

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